Reviews

Tales Of The Black Freighter

3

Missing Watchmen bits turn up on disc...

See the kid reading a comic book in Zack Snyder’s Watchmen?

This is that comic book. Just one of the storytelling tricks that made Alan Moore’s graphic novel a ball-ache to adapt, Black Freighter is the comic within the comic. Snyder gives it to us Animatrix-stylee here. Because Moore wasn’t riled enough already…

This dark tale uses a tormented mariner (voiced by Gerard Butler) – left floating at sea on the corpses of his murdered shipmates – as an allegory for Watchmen’s doomy story arc. From spilled guts to plucked-out eyeballs, every jolt of savagery is there. But seen standalone, it no longer comes at you likea symbolic left hook.

Snyder’s team spurn CG gloss to mimic the old-school animation of Watchmen’s ’80s era, but at 20 minutes long, every frame needed to sing (or scream) harder with detail and texture. Then again, for a tenner, who’s arguing? Especially when the disc’s 40-min faux-TV documentary does shade in Snyder’s film.

Fun for the fanboys and a primer for Watchmen newbies, it cobbles newsreel footage, vintage TV ads and a chance for the Minutemen cast (Stephen McHattie’s Nite Owl, Carla Gugino’s Silk Spectre, Matt Frewer’s Moloch) to flesh out their roles with wistful recollections about their rocky history. Predictably, The Comedian ( Jeffrey Dean Morgan) isn’t in a candid-camera kinda mood: “Get that thing out of my face before I put my cigar out in your eye!”

Jonathan Crocker

Film Details